Kentucky Football: What exactly do the Cats need in Offensive Coordinator

Mark Stoops the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Mark Stoops the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Kentucky football
Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis ( Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /

Kentucky football needs to run a much faster up-tempo offense to get going

Another struggle the Kentucky Wildcats had this year that garnered the attention of analysts, as well as the fanbase, was related to the tempo and pace of the game.  Kentucky, over the course of the entire season, seemed to have trouble getting plays into the huddle and up to the line of scrimmage offensively.

As a matter of fact, Kentucky ranked dead last in the nation in terms of tempo and how long it took the Cats to get from play to play.   It’s definitely hard to get anything going and get into a groove offensively as a player — and a squad — when you’re constantly chewing 36-38 seconds of the play clock.

This slow tempo could have had a lot to do with the “NFL Style” offense that Scangarello was implementing and running this season.  The play calls were likely complex, very wordy, and included a lot of QB responsibility as far as reads, audibles, and on-the-fly adjustments.  This is most likely also why the Cats struggled so badly in the absence of Will Levis.

In order to be successful moving forward it may be necessary to get someone in the position that is a bit more simple-minded in terms of calling plays and designing an offense.  I think it’s more than possible to still run an NFL-friendly – air raid offense and simplify at the same time.  The Cats are going to need an offensive play caller that is patient, and in a hurry at the same time.

The tempo of the game would not have been considered an issue by many if the Wildcats were scoring 30-40 points per game.  However, that was not the case at all as Kentucky averaged just over 22 points per game and failed to score 40 points in a game over the span of the entire regular season. To make things appear even worse, the Cats were held to below 28 points by every SEC opponent they faced this season.

It’s hard to blame all of that on play calling and tempo, but I feel it’s safe to say that by getting more plays called and extending the active time in a game our chances of scoring more often were not going to be damaged.